Old-Fashioned Southern Baked Cornbread

Variations of this heritage cornbread recipe were used by both my paternal and maternal grandmothers, my mothers, and most of my aunts. I was taught to cook by my grandmothers. Grandma Barton, my paternal grandmother, always said that cornbread never had any sugar added. If sugar was added (a Yankee heresy), it was no longer cornbread but Johnnie Cake. I usually cook the way my grandmothers taught me, seldom measuring, except by hand and eye. The ingredients listed below are close estimates for the recipe handed down from grandmothers to granddaughter. The flavor and texture of this cornbread is much improved if one uses stone ground cornmeal rather than the commercial variety.